ODESA, JULY 11th, 2014, CONTEXT-PRICHERNOMORIE – 11 July 2014 Odesa International Film Festival, one of the largest film forums in Eastern Europe, has opened at the Odesa Theater of Musical Comedy. Films participating in the International Competition Program as well as the Jury of International Competition were presented at the ceremony. British Director Stephen Frears, honoured guest of the Festival, was awarded the ‘Golden Duke’ for Life-time Achievement, Context-Prichernomorie correspondent reports.
Eccentric Snezhana Egorova and Oleg Panyuta, journalist and TV-presenter of the channel ‘Ukraine’, hosted the Opening ceremony of the 5th Odesa International Film Festival. The evening has begun with a minute of silence in memory of the fallen soldiers near Luhansk. Afterwards the audience was greeted by the OIFF president Viktoriya Tigipko.
«In such difficult periods in history large-scale cultural events are of need as never before, so we didn't have any doubts that OIFF must take place. Such events can bring people together: thousands of separate «I» in the process of communication and watching quality cinema create unified «we». It's of huge importance for Ukraine nowadays , — said Viktoriya Tigipko from the scene. She also added that this year, the festival was supported by representatives of 160 leading film festivals around the world. The President of Odesa Film Festival finished her speech by thanking the city and the audience, wishing all the guest great cinema.
The OIFF 2014 Jury members have been presented to the guests. They will evaluate the international competition program films: the head of the international festival of independent cinema 2morrow, actress and director Olga Dihovichnaya; French actor, film critic and deputy editor of the legendary magazine Les Cahiers du cinéma Jean-Philippe Tesse; Israeli actress Evgeniya Dodina; Ukrainian filmmaker, OIFF 2012 winner, Cannes laureate Sergei Loznitsa; and the Head of the Jury, Oscar and the Golden Globe award nominee, British film director, actor and screenwriter Peter Webber.
This year, 12 art-mainstream films from around the world — Germany, China, Georgia, Mexico, USA, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Israel, Russia and Ukraine — will compete for the statuettes in such categories as Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor. In addition seven feature films and 13 short films in different genres will compete for the National Competiton prizes.
Moreover, ceremony presenters invited everyone to support Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov, who is currently being detained in Moscow's Lefortovo prison on faulse charges, and come to the special screening of his film «Gaamer», that will be held during the festival on July 15. All money raised from the ticket sales will be donated to Sentsov family to pay attorneys' fees and help his two minor children.
Stephen Frears, the veteran of the British film industry, was awarded the «Golden Duke» for Life-time Achievement. Mr. Frears came to Odesa to present his retrospective and teach the master-class for the Summer Film Schoolstudents.
The Italian film «Human Capital» starring leading contemporary actresses of Italy — Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Valeria Golino, presented by costume designer Bettina Pontiggia, opened the 5th Odessa Film Festival.
The performance of Ukrainian musical innovation group The Hardkiss, became the final chord of the opening ceremony. The Hardkiss performed its track «Stones» with the symphony orchestra.
5th Odesa Film Festival will run until July 19, 2014. Its program includes competitive pictures, gala premieres and special screenings as well as Ukrainian retrospective «Forgotten Masterpieces», selected documentaries about the revolution «Way to Freedom», master classes and creative meetings within the educational project Summer Film School, Film Industry Office events, open-air screenings at the Potemkin Stairs and Lanzheronovsky descent. The Winner of the Grand Prix, which will be awarded the «Golden Duke» for the Best film of the International competition program, is determined by the public.